What sort of music did he play?

Purcell Room Concert
11th April 1985

Robert Bouffler was well known for the vast range of his repertoire, from the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde. He was particularly praised for his interpretation of composers as widely diverse as Scarlatti, Rameau, Bach, Schumann, Debussy, Scriabin, Schonberg and Berio. In later years he was highly regarded as a Lieder accompanist, and gave many recitals, latterly with his great friend the bass-baritone Jonathan Robarts, who played such a key role in setting up the Robert Bouffler Music Trust after his death.

Robert taught Barbara Barnes, the current Secretary of the Trust, and daughter of Robert’s friend Sidney Davidson (who was to become the first Treasurer of the RBMT). She can remember, as a very young, impressionable girl, being enthusiastically encouraged by Robert to go to London to hear concerts by some of the more obscure avant-garde composers. He told Sue that Schoenberg was his favourite composer, an indication of the impact of studying contemporary music in his 20s at Oxford, but his favourite piece of music to play was Debussy’s “L’isle Joyeuse”. A Heidelberg newspaper reviewer described his performance of it as “presented with hymnic brilliance.”

Michael Nebe said that “throughout his playing career Robert became well-known for his beautiful transparent touch, his intelligent musicianship, no-nonsense approach and above all his astounding talent as accompanist and coach.”